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  • Writer's pictureBig Rick Stuart

Returning to Santa Barbara Restaurants

Taking a Stroll Down State Street, Where Distanced Tables Spread Across the Sidewalks and Asphalt

By Matt Kettmann

Wed Jun 03, 2020 | 5:24pm

Last Thursday afternoon ​— ​when most of the country was still primarily focused on the global pandemic rather than the widespread protests and riots to come ​— ​it felt like the right time to hit State Street for my first visit in 11 weeks and see how the restaurants were embracing the city’s closure of the main drag to cars.

I’d heard that the previous weekend’s Memorial Day crowds were a bit too large and unmasked for comfort, perhaps too jubilantly celebrating the cracking open of the state’s shelter-in-place orders. But I’d also appreciated a breath of fresh commerce blowing into Santa Barbara’s stagnant sales, knowing how desperately so many establishments, and their many employees, were clinging to survival.

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